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Real estate market may rebound in second half of 2012: analysts

Real estate developers are expected to roll out new housing projects amounting to NT$1.2 trillion at three major metropolitan regions in northern, central and southern Taiwan in 2012 to warm up the real estate market in the second half following a big slump in 2011.

Realty analysts generally forecast higher presentation of more new housing projects in Taipei and New Taipei City in the north, Taichung City in central Taiwan, and Kaohsiung on the southern part of the island.

They gave the more optimistic business prediction in spite of negative economic developments, including the impact from the prolonged European debt crisis that will almost certainly affect Taiwan's export trade.

The new regulations concerning the levying of luxury taxes on purchases of luxury goods and speculative real estate transactions adopted in 2011 will be another market damper.

But analysts pointed out there will also be positive factors for the realty market for 2012, including Taiwan's continuing and steady economic expansion, the stable and low interest rate, the return of more capital held by Taiwan-based businesspeople from abroad, and possible increasing interest in Taiwan properties by the wealthy in mainland China amid intensified business interchanges between Taiwan and China.

Realty developers and construction companies put on the market NT$821 billion worth of new housing projects throughout Taiwan in 2011, representing a drop of 11.7 percent from NT$930 billion in 2010, according to analysts at the My Housing magazine.

Public Discontent

The government and legislators passed new regulations last year to limit realty speculations that caused soaring housing prices, a major source of public discontent.

Many developers also postponed their new projects in view of falling property prices and transactions at major cities, declining stock prices of construction firms on the financial market, and political factors like the new presidential and legislative elections.

But new development projects will be unveiled after political uncertainties settle down in the wake of the Jan. 14 general elections.

Experts believe that more people in need of their own apartments will return and take part in rational property transactions after realizing the government's crackdown measures have been targeted primarily toward exceptionally large housing units and speculators who had sought quick and high returns in realty investments while lifting the market prices along the way.

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